Ingrown Toenails

What Is it?

An ingrowing nail is a common nail complaint. It occurs when the corner or side of the nail grows into or penetrates the soft flesh. The nail plate may be flat and a sliver of nail will penetrate the skin or the nails may become curled or pincer like and press against the flesh. Tight fitting shoes, improper nail trimming, fungal nail infections or injury may cause ingrowing nails.


An ingrowing nail may be very painful and present with swelling around the affected nail, redness, pus or even an abscess.


If left untreated, an ingrown toenail can progress to an infection or even an abscess that requires surgical treatment. Conservative care includes cutting/trimming the offending spicule or portion of the nail. Your podiatrist can correctly shape the nail and may use packing under the nail to relieve the pressure from the nail and allow the nail to grow out over the skin. In recurrent or severe cases, nail surgery may be advised as a long term solution.